Bulgaria is the owner of 66 properties in Rila mountain, which are part of the case study with the so-called “royal” restitution. The Sofia District Court recognized Bulgaria as the owner of 66 real estates after more than ten years of legal battle, according to the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The properties represent forests and lands from the forest fund in Rila mountain with a total area of about 16 thousand decares. and are in the last pending case regarding the case with the so-called “royal” restitution.
The proceedings in the case were initiated by claims of the state through the Minister of Agriculture and Food against the heirs of the former kings Ferdinand I and Boris III. In 2019, a court settlement was concluded with some of the defendants, representatives of the royal family, and the case against them was terminated. With the rendered decision, the court recognizes that the state is the owner of the trial properties ex lege, by virtue of the current Forest Laws, and that there was no basis for the restitution of the trial forest properties. The decision of the Sofia District Court can be appealed.
If the court’s decision remains in force, S.B.S. and his sister M.B.H. (i.e. King Simeon II and his sister Princess Maria-Louise) will have to reimburse the state the compensation awarded to them by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for pecuniary damages in the amount of 1,635,875 euros, as a result of the moratorium imposed by the National Assembly in 2009.
Photo: The Royal Palace “Vrana” (Sofia, Bulgaria) in the first decades of the 20th century. Source: State Agency “Archives” – Sofia.